SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A man from St. Robert who participated in an attack on a couple in downtown Springfield pleaded guilty on Thursday. Andre Shephard is one of six band members who were accused of attacking the couple after a concert on Aug. 22, 2014. A security camera recorded the attack.
Shephard pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault as his bench trial (without a jury) was scheduled to begin before Greene County Circuit Judge Calvin Holden. Shephard received five years of probation, which includes 40 hours of community service, in lieu of a four-year prison sentence.
"The victim actually wanted probation and, out of all four co-defendants, my client was less culpable than the other three. He was only involved for approximately two seconds out of the 16-second altercation," said Adam Woody, Shephard's defense attorney.
The other five men who were charged with the attack are Quenten Warren and Aaron Whittington, both from St. Robert; Mark Keleise, of Laquey; Ricky Johnson, of Waynesville; and Kenny Presley of Little Rock. Prosecutors charged each of them with two counts of second-degree assault in March 2015.
The probable cause statement used as the basis of the charges says the six men were part of a rap group that had just performed at a concert on the night of the attack. Detectives put the video on You Tube twice to help identify the attackers.
Presley pleaded guilty for the assaults on Dec. 21, 2015, and received a four-year prison sentence. Keleise, Warren and Johnson all pleaded guilty for the assaults on Nov. 7, 2016. Keleise received a four-year prison sentence, Johnson received five years of probation, and Warren received 120 days of shock prison time, followed by five years of probation. Prosecutors dropped charges against Whittington.